Series Recommendation: Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon

Cross Ange? Isn’t that the Gundam Seed rip-off but with girls’ love instead? Well, half of that is true (the Yuri part), but Cross Ange is much more than that. Cross Ange paints a story of racial discrimination and the struggle of a fallen princess through the hell that she advertently looked down on. It isn’t just about the discrimination, the false peace of an Empire, but also about human’s most basic instincts.

Angelise Misurugi, a princess adored by her subjects, excel in almost every aspect, was discovered to be a false magician. In a world where “typical” people possess Mana and can perform magical feats, a highly regarded person was outed as a “Norma” – a being without magic, and a royalty even. Angelise is then thrusted into Azrael, a prison for Normas and forced to live the life of a lowlife commoners while fighting a war she has no idea about. From there, she slowly changed person and began to see the “truth” of the world.

+ Plot:  Cross Ange can make you feel very frustrating. It lays bare how screwed-up a misguided society can be, how ignorance can cause someone’s life to suffer and in turn, lead to many more suffering. However, Cross Ange also reward you with some warm-hearted moments in-between. The series try to tackle many themes at once: social discrimination, racism, god complex and various other issues portrayed through its extended cast of characters. The main character is taken through many perspectives and see the world in various ways that contradict every belief she has ever had, to finally arrive at her own answer. The supporting cast of Cross Ange has some interesting characters with some form of depth to them. Not everyone is developed to the same depth, but it does give a feeling of individuality, although some of them are quite cliché and one-dimensional. In terms of the yuri stuff, it is a good way to advance characters’ feelings and show that human’s instincts are uncontrollable and unpredictable.

Animation: The best part of Cross Ange. Sunrise and 3 other 3D studios did a very good job. The 3D mech is just fluid enough, while still retain some mechanical feedback due to how they are designed. The blend between 2D characters and 3D mech is very well done. The battle is fluid and not much animation is re-used, except the launching scenes (let’s face it, it isn’t really a big deal). Mitsuo Fukuda was the Mechanical director for the series, which he did a very good job of since he is a veteran in the field.

Mecha Design: Transforming mecha isn’t the newest concept in the book; however, Cross Ange take a bit of a fresh direction. The Paramails are essentially flying motorcycles that can transform into robot mode. It reuses some concepts from previous mecha series, such as how the arms and legs are positioned, but makes the overall mechanism fresh to the eye. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Cross Ange’s designer is Junichi Akutsu – the designer of Code Geass and many Gundam series, so you can see A LOT of similarities. In which the Vilkiss and Vanessa are expies of Justice and Freedom.

Music: Nana Mizuki is a household name that everyone loves due to her talent as both a singer and VA. She has participated in many animes and performed theme songs for them as well such as Symphogear, Nanoha, and Cross Ange is no exception. Aside from voicing the main heroine Ange, Nana Mizuki also perform the first OP and second ED of the series, as well as many insert songs. Her powerful and unique vocals really help establish the show’s brutal but hopeful theme. The OP song by Yoko Takahashi is also beautiful (as expected from the singer of A cruel angel’s thesis) and the first ED by Eri Kitamura is also very good.

+ Conclusion: Overall, Cross Ange is a good series to entertain yourself with. The action is great, and the story is well done. By trying to tackle many themes as one, it didn’t manage to go all the way for all of them, but the conclusion is satisfying. Amazing designs and great music, Cross Ange can capture you just with the visuals alone. Although the series can be rated PG-16, so don’t watch it with young kids. Although some regards Cross Ange as a Gundam rip-off and is just filled with lesbian hormone, it is not entirely the case. As it is trying to conveys that human will let instinct take over them wherever they go and whatever they do, and that we must learn to control them ourselves.

Check out more recommendations: